Disintermediation means "cutting out the middle man". The technical term for a "middle man" is "intermediary." It's the person between the buyer and the seller.

When buying a house, a realtor is the intermediary between the seller and the buyer. When buying a plane ticket, a travel agent is the intermediary between the airline and the passenger.

Buying a ticket directly from the airline cuts the travel agent out of the process — that's disintermediation. The internet makes it easier for sellers to deal directly with buyers, leading to a reduction in the use of intermediaries - that is, "disintermediation".

See this April 2013 NYT article on "bypassing the middlemen".

Affected Industries and Occupations

  • Travel agents
  • Fiancial advisors
  • Realtors
  • Wine?

Wine Sales

According to a March 19, 2008 article on Slate, online ordering and direct shipping of wine is still restricted in many states, despite a 2005 Supreme Court decision that states could not bar shipments from out-of-state wineries if in-state wineries could ship direct.

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